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NCAA Tournament


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Originally published Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Midwest Regional | Louisville moves on

Terrence Williams wouldn't let top-seeded Louisville crumble under pressure. The carefree forward known to skip and dance across the court...

DAYTON, Ohio — Terrence Williams wouldn't let top-seeded Louisville crumble under pressure.

The carefree forward known to skip and dance across the court got serious after the Cardinals fell behind in the second half Sunday, rallying his top-seeded team to a 79-72 victory over Siena in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Louisville (30-5) advanced to the round of 16 for the second straight year. The Cardinals will play 12th-seeded Arizona in the Midwest Regional on Friday in Indianapolis.

Siena (27-8) overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half and led by four before Williams, the Rainier Beach High product, took over, making three-pointers, getting rebounds and starting fast breaks with one-handed passes. He finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Edwin Ubiles scored 24 points for the Saints, who handled Louisville's full-court pressure and then applied some of their own. The Cardinals headed to the bench for a timeout with stunned expressions after Clarence Jackson's layin put Siena up 63-59 with 7:20 to go.

Williams took it from there.

The senior forward who was so cool under pressure that he skipped across the court during pregame introductions drove for a basket and made a three-pointer that changed the momentum. He had nine points, five rebounds, a steal and two one-handed passes for layups down the stretch.

Other Midwest games

Michigan State 74, USC 69

In Minneapolis, Travis Walton, a guard better known for his defense, and fellow senior Goran Suton kept the title dreams alive for their class.

Walton's season-high 18 points included back-to-back jumpers that broke a tie late in the game, and Suton had two key foul shots with 1 minute 19 seconds to play as the second-seeded Spartans held off USC to advance to the Sweet 16.

"I was shocked that he did make some of those shots," Izzo said of Walton, who did not score in the first-round victory over Robert Morris and hasn't had more than eight points in a game in more than two months.

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"If you look at a day like this with Trav hitting all those shots, maybe we were lucky a little bit," Izzo said. "And I don't mind saying that. That's part of what has to happen. I've moved on enough in this tournament to know that it's not all on skill, and definitely not all on coaching."

Durell Summers had 11 points and eight rebounds for Michigan State (28-6), which has advanced to the regional semifinals more times in the last dozen years than any team but Duke.

The Spartans will play third-seeded Kansas on Friday in Indianapolis.

Dwight Lewis scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan had 18 points for USC (22-13), which is starting to look like more than just a football school under coach Tim Floyd.

Arizona 71, Cleveland State 57

In Miami, Nic Wise and 12th-seeded Arizona again adapted well to its spot as a tournament longshot, building an early 14-point lead and eliminating Cleveland State.

The Wildcats are appearing in the tournament for the 25th year in a row, two shy of the record. But they've never been seeded so low and drew criticism as undeserving of a berth.

Wise scored 21 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Wildcats (21-13).

"We knew we could be there all along," said Wise, who made 10 of 10 free throws among his 21 points and had eight assists. "We're proving it now and we're peaking at the right time."

This season's coach is Russ Pennell, who is still tagged as "interim" after replacing legendary Lute Olson, who stepped down because of illness last fall. The season before, when Olson was taking a year off, assistant coach Kevin O'Neill coached the Wildcats into the NCAA, but they were knocked out in the opener by West Virginia.

Bracket-busting Cleveland State (26-11) was seeded 13th and struggled to solve Arizona's zone defense. Norris Cole scored 17.

Kansas 60, Dayton 43

In Minneapolis, Cole Aldrich posted a triple-double with 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead defending champion Kansas past 11th-seeded Dayton.

The 6-11 Jayhawks sophomore nearly matched the NCAA tournament record for blocks in a game of 11 set by Shaquille O'Neal for LSU in 1992. Shawn Bradley had 10 in 1991 for BYU.

"I think it's fun, because I wouldn't have had it anywhere else than being at home," said Aldrich, a native of Bloomington, Minn. "That's one of the things that got me amped up more, just seeing familiar faces in the crowd — not only for me, but for the whole team. And I know these guys really wanted to come out of Minneapolis with big smiles on their faces."

Sherron Collins had 25 points to pace the third-seeded Jayhawks (27-7).

Chris Wright had 10 points for Dayton (27-8). The Flyers shot 22.2 percent in their lowest-scoring game of the season.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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